Chiswick Daughter's Tribute To Her Dying Mother

Sarah Philips' cover of Paolo Nutini's Autumn becomes a YouTube hit

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Debbie Philips - Barcelona 2003

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When Sarah Philips recorded a version of Paolo Nutini's Autumn onto her mobile phone as a tribute to her dying mother she never imaged that it would become a YouTube sensation and serve to highlight the foundation set up in her mother's name. But that is precisely what has happened.

16 year old Sarah had just said an emotional farewell to her mother Debbie who had lost her battle with cervical cancer when she recorded herself singing the track onto her mobile phone.

She played the recording to her mother just moments before she passed away.

Last week Sarah's recording was released on the YouTube website accompanied by clips taken from home made family videos taken during holidays abroad. In just five days, the YouTube clip has had thousands of hits.

Sarah told The Telegraph newspaper, "I had this song [Autumn] in mind as something that was really appropriate because there is this line that says: 'You still live on in my father's eyes.' Mummy also liked Paulo Nutini's music too.

"In the run-up to mummy's death, I thought it was absolutely perfect but it was unrealistic for me to be able to sing it live at her funeral [because she would be too upset], so I recorded it on my mobile phone in my bedroom at about 10pm [on February 10]. I looked the lyrics up on my computer – it was the first time I had seen them.

The family were determined that some good should come from Debbie's death and they hope to raise a substantial amount for cervical cancer research, largely through Sarah's YouTube tribute.

Family friend Helen Jameson told, "The family have many many friends in Chiswick. They have set up the Debbie Philips Cervical Cancer Research Fund. Anyone can help raise money for this fund either by viewing the YouTube video or by donating to the fund via the University College London website"

March 22, 2010